It was billed as a showdown. The result was a beatdown. That’s the best way to describe Friday’s one-sided District 5-5A opener between Ryan and Denton. It’s been a crosstown rivalry that, even though it hadn’t been played since 2011, has been dominated by the Raiders. In the latest installment, Ryan showed just how big of a gap there is between two of the top six teams in the state.
Through the first four games of the Denton Broncos’ season, their defense has had just as much a hand in their victories as their offense. In three halves this season, their defense has held the opposing team to seven points or less while racking up 10 takeaways. In their District 5-5A opener, though, the Broncos’ defense had its hands full.
Losing all-state running back Xavier Scott to graduation left a huge hole in the Broncos’ offense entering this season, but thankfully Denton has senior running back Caleb Osuofa to fill the gap.
There was a time when Ryan and Denton were the only high schools in town. They would square off every season on the field and everyone in the community came to watch. To this day, there are fans who refer to it as the Denton school district’s original rivalry.
KELLER — Down at halftime for the first time this season, the Denton Broncos’ offense had amassed just 187 yards, but the second half was a different story. Denton scored the final two touchdowns of the game and its defense came through in the clutch, allowing the Broncos to put together a crucial eight-play drive for breathing room to hold off Timber Creek for a 37-28 victory and stay undefeated at 4-0.
The Denton Broncos have seen run-focused teams the past two weeks in Sanger and The Colony and used a combination of defense and timely scoring to emerge with victories, but in today’s game at undefeated Keller Timber Creek, the Bronco defense is preparing for a change of scenery.
Holding a healthy 12-point lead at halftime, the Denton Broncos found themselves in a situation similar to last week’s second half against Sanger. The Broncos’ offense grinded to a screeching halt and The Colony capitalized, scoring late in the third quarter to draw within two points. But again, Denton used a familiar mixture of stout defense, timely running by Caleb Osuofa and a crucial fourth-quarter drive, allowing the Broncos to sneak away with a 35-29 victory in their first home game of the year to stay perfect at 3-0.
The Denton Broncos finally are getting some recognition across the state. After landing just outside the top 10 of The Associated Press’ Class 5A poll after their opening win over Lake Dallas, the Broncos moved up to No. 8 following last week’s 31-21 road win over Sanger.
On Monday against Keller Fossil Ridge, Denton coach Gerry Standridge turned to assistant coach Leslye Hill on the bench and told her he believed if his team could just get one victorious set under its belt, they would take that confidence and run with it.
SANGER — After rushing for just 30 yards in the first half, Denton running back Caleb Osuofa was found hanging his head in the locker room at halftime. Osuofa ripped off a 27-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Denton valuable breathing room and allow its defense to close out the second-half shutout as the Broncos defeated Sanger 31-21 on Friday at Indian Stadium.
CORINTH — With the graduation of its top running back from a season ago, the question marks surrounding Denton’s backfield are abundant as it entered the season without a true bell cow. On Friday at Falcon Stadium, the Broncos answered those questions with exclamation marks as they posted more than 300 yards on the ground on the road in a 42-28 win against Lake Dallas.
Denton and Lake Dallas are entering their season opener with some known commodities, but they are still in the process of filling in the final puzzle pieces of their teams.
After two weeks of practice, the Braswell Bengals will hit someone other than one another. The Bengals will host Fort Worth Western Hills at 10 a.m. Saturday in a scrimmage at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. It will be an exciting moment for Braswell, whose coaching staff is trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together heading into the team’s inaugural season.
Ryan coach Dave Henigan may very well have an easy road ahead. With 15 starters back, the Raiders are experienced, star-studded and among the favorites to compete for a Class 5A state championship.
Whether it’s just before the sun rises or long after it has set, Denton High School’s Ben McAfee can be found running. Committed to his dream of making the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, McAfee knows how much work is ahead of him. On Monday in Sacramento, California, he will take a major step toward accomplishing his goal as he competes in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships.
A growing movement to institute pitch count limits on high school baseball players took a huge step toward reality this week, but it has been met with mixed reviews from a handful of local coaches. The National Federation of State High School Associations announced Tuesday that each state’s governing organization for high school sports must establish its own set of pitch count guidelines.
Entering his senior season with a wealth of college offers, Denton High School’s Grant Polley has drawn interest from around the country.
Denton athletic coordinator Kevin Atkinson knows how important experience at the highest level is, so when the Lady Broncos began their search for a new softball coach after Rhana Ramos resigned recently, Atkinson was looking for the right mix of approachability and confidence.
As a three-sport athlete, Chris Miller has been at the heart of Denton’s recent resurgence. He anchored a relay team to the state track and field meet, added depth to an already deep basketball squad and injected the football team with some of the best speed and athleticism it’s seen in several seasons.
After spending time riding the film festival circuit, When We Were All Broncos will make its television debut on KERA-TV (Channel 13) at 9 p.m. Friday. The documentary, directed by David Barrow, chronicles the journey of the racially integrated 1972 Denton High School football team and its role in Denton and the recently desegregated South.
Graduating from North Texas in 1980 with a degree in business, Gerry Standridge started in real estate before entering the coaching world, and it was in 2002 when he officially was introduced to the sport of volleyball.
Denton volleyball coach Danielle Kading didn’t have much of a transition from her time in college at TWU to head coach of the Lady Broncos at age 22, but when she arrived at Denton she hit the ground running, leading her team to five consecutive playoff appearances.
First embracing track and field in fifth grade, Denton’s Logan McDaniel is still learning the sport. As he and the rest of the Broncos enter today’s Class 5A state meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, they are looking to take the next step toward ultimate success while building the program’s tradition along the way.
In her time at Navo Middle School, Denton’s Selena Gembeh was one of the fastest runners on the track and field team, but in seventh grade her coach encouraged her to try the high jump.
ARGYLE — Scoring eight runs in the first inning, Liberty Christian kept swinging hard and staying on top of Brownsville St. Joseph. The Warriors hosted the Bloodhounds at Lovelace Family Stadium in a one-game TAPPS Class 5A bi-district playoff, and Liberty mercy-ruled the Bloodhounds 12-1 in five innings.
FORT WORTH — After being trounced from the start of Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 5A bi-district playoff series against Grapevine, pitcher Malik Minter and the Denton Broncos knew they couldn’t allow themselves to get so far behind in Game 2.
As the Denton Broncos prepared for the Class 5A Region I track and field meet starting today in Lubbock, they were running a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
FORT WORTH — Following each game, win or lose, first-year Lake Dallas coach Amber Tramp grips a white binder filled with her team’s season and game goals. She white-knuckles it after a loss, and she has a much lighter grip following a big win.
For the second consecutive game Denton struggled to find its offensive rhythm, and on Friday at Cotton Nix Field against last-place Azle, the Broncos had their opportunities but couldn’t exploit the Hornets until the District 5-5A game was out of hand.
Heading to the bottom of the seventh down 2-0 to Wichita Falls Rider, the Denton Broncos didn’t want to be on the wrong end of a perfect game. The Raiders’ Koby Hott was three outs away from sending the Broncos to their third district loss.
As the Denton Broncos exited their home dugout, it was a somber mood as each player shoved his equipment into a bag.
It appears the Denton Broncos are hitting their stride this season after beginning their season with one win in their first 13 games. Since then, they’ve won seven of their past eight games, are now tied for first place in District 5-5A and are on a five-game winning streak.
Ryan’s lack of production at the plate makes it fair to wonder how long the Raiders can keep eking out wins against a tough district slate that is still anyone’s for the taking heading into Friday’s round of games.